Middle School Black History Month Assembly
February 24, 2022
I am so proud. Today, I was invited to attend the Middle School assembly with its combined purpose of recognizing both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (rescheduled from January) and Black History Month. I was blown away. This multimedia assembly — packed into a mere 30 minutes — included facts, prose, music, performance and opened my eyes to pivotal people and stories I did not know. It was creative, it was innovative, it was informative, but mostly it was inspiring. I was equally as inspired by the student performers as I was their powerful messages.
Eighth-grade student, Maxwell, welcomed us in Thies, “The assembly is being put on by members of the Mosaic Club, as well as other interested students, who have worked hard to present what you will see today,” and extended an invitation to his fellow students to attend the next Mosaic Club meeting.
I want to share with you what I gleaned.
Students taught me more about Claudette Colvin, a 15-year-old from Montgomery, AL, the Greensboro Four, who all “stood up by sitting down,” and the youth who marched in the Children’s Crusade. They read poetry about those who came before us, who endured brutalities to shine paths to brighter possibilities. Students spoke of basic human rights, Jim Crow laws, they spoke of courage, of brave individuals who are not commonly known.
Courageous students spoke of change. And humility. About bravery and brilliance.
They said, “You matter.”
They shared a video about Audrey Faye Hendricks, the youngest known person (at only age 9) arrested during the Civil Rights Movement in the Children’s Crusade, and about the Greensboro Four, who refused to give up their seats at the Woolworth lunch counter, wanting only to be served a strawberry shortcake and a cup of coffee as white people were. “We don’t think it’s right,” the four NC A&T college students argued.
“It’s not that these people were hungry for dessert. They were hungry for respect,” our student narrators added.
Charlie and Gus, both Middle School Mosaic Club members, concluded the assembly with the names Fred Korematsu and Dolores Huerta. While not Black, these individuals fought for equal rights and stood up for their heritage in a country and time that denied them political and social freedom and equality.
The Middle School Chorus gathered on stage and performed Alterations by Andrea Ramsey; the poignant refrain:
Please point out the way that's right
Please bring me a nice dream this night
One that can relief my questions
The one of life alterations!
A tremendous Head of School ovation to today’s Middle School performers and presenters, and to your teachers, advisors, and administrators. Charlie, Maxwell, Wilson, Sophia, Sam, Michaela, Jade, Sophia, Julian, Elle, Brooke, Leela, Sammy, Ivy, Robert, Flinn, Amit, Harley, Jordan, Gus, and David — you represent our future. Many of the experiences you shared today were of young people close to your own age. Like them, you are all brave enough to stand up for what you believe in. I am proud of you and I honor the work you have done here today.